Take what the world offers freely and naturally
Sikhs for some strange reason pride themselves on their meat eating habits. According to them carnivorism is allowed by the religion. Last time I wrote about Sikhism and meat eating. Here is some more evidence that the Sikh Gurus frowned upon it:
Those that have been “consumed by the desire for substances” rather than focus their minds on remembering God have been derided by the Adi Granth. Which are these nine desires that are to frowned upon? “The desires for gold, silver, women, fragrances,”…“horses, beds, palaces, sweets, and meat.”(Verse 43/1, p. 34) [Guru Nanak, Adi Granth, p. 15]
None of the Gurus ate meat. Guru Har Rai Ji was sad when his robe trampled a few flowers. The argument that Sikhs were formed into an army by Guru Gobind Singh Ji to kill the forces of Aurangzeb has nothing whatsoever with their eating meat. “Kill only when it is necessary for survival.” This was taught by all the Gurus, especially Guru Arjun Dev Ji.” Bodies are gifts of God, and so we must respect all of them.
“When the One God resides in all why do you kill the birds?” (SGGS, p 1350)
Here are some more views on the subject in the Sri Guru Grant Sahibji.
Why do you practice meditation and chanting, when your mind is not pure? ||1||Pause and reflect|| The human who considers a lion’s food (i.e. meat) as their food, know such a person to be a god of thieves (‘thugg’). ||2||”(Ang 485)
The fundamental principle of the Guru’s teaching is:
“Do not cause suffering to any living beings, and you shall go to your true home with honour.”
According to some Sikh theologians it is permitted to eat meat only if the animal is not cut in the “Muslim” way i.e.halal : This method of slaughter consists of tying down the animal and making a deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting the jugular vein and carotid arteries of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact, while reciting religious prayers. The animal bleeds to death.
They can apparently eat if the animal is killed in the Jhatka method: cutting the head of a goat with one blow.
In actual fact, animals in India are cut in neither fashion. No prayers are recited over them. They are cut in the most gruesome uncaring fashion by hitting them repeatedly on the head till they collapse and then cutting their throats with any tool that is handy whether a razor blade or a pointed stick. Chickens, the favourite food of Sikh meateaters, are killed by putting a dirty foot on their head, slicing their throats and wings and holding them down with the feet till they stop breathing. Almost all the meat that Sikhs eat have been killed by Muslim butchers. Jhatka is not practiced because it takes far more force and most butchers – of all religions- kill so many animals a day and are so diseased themselves (studies given to Supreme Court of the main slaughterhouse of Delhi found most butchers had tuberculosis) that the effort of cutting an animal’s head off with one stroke is physically not possible.
The Guru Granth Sahib asks the question of people who pretend that their killing is sanctified:
“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? If you religious people are doing “religious” killing for meat, then what is A-dharam (atheism)? If you are a religious person then whom will we call a butcher? ||2||”
“O Kabeer! (Tell the Mullah,) to use force is tyranny, (you grab animals and saying God’s Name you kill them) you call this legal. (But committing this sin, have you ever thought) when your account is called for in the Court of the Lord, what will your condition be then? ||187|| O Kabeer! (Despite the Mullah eating meat, believing he is within God’s Law) eating the dinner of beans and rice is excellent, in which there is only salt. Who would cut his throat (in paying for the sin) to have meat with his bread? ||188||
The purpose of having Gurus in the religion we choose to follow, is to emulate them and listen to their edicts. The historian Dr. Ganda Singh, collected historical edicts and commands written by the Guru Sahibs and published them in his book “Hukamnamas”. On page 64-65 a photograph of the Sixth Nanak, Guru Hargobindji’s handwritten Hukamanama (edict) is given with a translation of it in Punjabi:
The Hukamnama clearly states -
“Do not come near (i.e. consume) meat and fish” - and is at Sri Harimandir Sahib, Patna Sahib.
All the Hukamnamas of this period bear this order.
Mohsin Fani (1615-70), historian and contemporary of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib, writes in his work DABISTAN-E-MAZAHIB:
“Having prohibited his disciples to drink wine and eat pork, he (Nanak) himself abstained from eating flesh and ordered not to hurt any living being. After him this precept was neglected by his followers; but Arjun Mal, one of his faithful, renewed the prohibition to eat flesh and said: This has not been approved by Nanak.”
The philosophical poetry (Vaars) of Bhai Gurdaas Ji, nephew of the third Guru and close associate of the subsequent Gurus, is given the utmost respect in the Sikh religion. Bhai Gurdaas Ji describes the killing of a goat for its meat, and explains the consequences of eating meat through the eyes of the Goat being killed:
“I ate ‘Ak’ and ‘Dhatura’ plants (poisonous plants) my whole life, those that nobody else liked to eat. Even then I am being brutally killed and my skin is being ripped. What will happen to those who cut my throat and eat my meat?” (Vaar 25, Pauri 7)
Bhai Gurdaas Ji repeats this in Vaar 37, Pauri 2
“The goat is killed, cut into pieces, and salt is spread on the pieces. While being killed the goat says this has happened to me even though I was simply clearing the weeds. What will be the fate of those in the Court of the Lord who cut my throat with a knife and eat my meat?”
(Vaar 37, Pauri 21)
Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s sermon to Bhai Daya Singhji mentioned in the Sudharam Marag Grantha says: “One who does not steal, commit adultery, slander anyone, gamble, eat meat or drink wine will be liberated in this very life (i.e. Jeewan Mukt)”.
Compassion is stressed on. The Granth Saheb says :
“Rather than bathing at the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage and the giving of charity – the most meritorious act that will be accepted by the Lord is showing compassion to all beings.”
“If one’s clothes are stained with blood, the garment becomes polluted. Those who drink the blood of others – how can those people’s consciousness be pure?”
The first Sikh guru established vegetarian community kitchens. In 1871, 3,15,000 Sikhs participated in an agitation against the British to get slaughterhouses closed.
Let me tell my Sikh brothers what my own logic is: take what the world offers freely and naturally. A fruit or grain offers itself by looking enticing and smelling fragrant. It says to you that you should take it, eat it and spread the seeds of the plant. The ripe fruit is the bait for you as an animal to do what the plant and nature wants. Your senses enjoy the food and your mind and heart are at peace. When you kill the animal you are taking a life that does not want to give and is certainly not offering itself to you. Your mind and body both suffer from eating the reluctant dead. The sustainability of the world depends on living with sympathy with all sentient beings, How can you do that if you eat them?
The Adi Granth says:
"Whoever uses bhang, fish and wine;
Whatever pilgrimages, fasting and daily rites they may perform,
They all go to hell." (p. 1377)
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